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Is my child ready for high school?

The beginning of high school is one of the biggest transitions of your child’s academic career. Your child will be challenged both academically and socially, so it’s only natural for parents to wonder if their child is ready. Knowing what is expected will help you prepare them for the trials that lay before them.

What social skills are required for high school?

high school studentHigh school students need to be more independent than ever before, which means they are required to be responsible and understand the consequences of their actions. Students must also have the ability to modify their behavior and understand its impact on others. In addition, high school students should be able identify and practice healthy ways to handle stress. High school can be quite overwhelming and having proper coping skills in place is critical to your child’s success.

As you may remember, the ability to make friends has a huge impact on their happiness during these 4 years. Students tend to walk the fine line between fitting in and creating their own individuality. Encourage your child to consider activities, such as sports, music or clubs, where he can meet other kids who have the same interests and will be positive influences.

What can you do to help your child develop social skills?

The ability to maintain positive attitude is essential to relate to others and maintain friends, not to mention improve her emotional well-being. Here are a few ways you can help her succeed socially:

  • Develop and implement social media and internet rules to keep her safe and avoid intimidation from both peers and strangers.
  • Discuss your school’s bullying policy with your child and what to do if she is bullied or sees someone else being bullied.
  • Talk about stress and anxiety triggers and coping tactics.
  • Keep the lines of communication open so you know if your child is struggling with schoolwork or friends.
  • Keep up-to-date on school happenings so you can help her remember key dates and activities.

What academic skills are required for high school?

By the time your child reaches 9th grade he should have a solid academic foundation, which he can build upon in high school. He should be able to, not only read and understand texts, but also analyze, effectively discuss ideas, and apply his understanding to the real world.

Similar skills are required for math as well. Memorizing formulas isn’t enough for high school courses, students should be able to comprehend math formulas and demonstrate how they relate to daily life.

In addition, your child will need to learn how to become responsible for his education during high school. Building on his time management and organization skills, as well as his ability to stay focused will help him keep up with the amount of work and pace of high-school classes.

What can you do to ensure your child is academically prepared?

If you are concerned about your child’s academic performance, talk to his teacher about his readiness for high school. If necessary, you can hire a tutor to help him catch up over the summer. There may also be some after school enrichment opportunities available during the school year.

Help your child stay organized by encouraging him to user a planner. There are a variety of options from an app he can use on his smartphone to a more traditional paper planner, but any type he chooses will help him keep up with school projects, homework assignments and class notes.

Other ways to help your child prepare for high school

There are other ways to help your child prepare for and thrive during high school and improve your child’s overall well-being and long term success.

    • Make sure your child gets eight hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep improves intellectual and athletic performance and attitude.
    • Healthy eating habits are critical for focus and concentration.
    • Take a break from the screen. Success in high school requires a significant amount of concentration, which can be difficult to do in front of a screen. Encourage your child to concentrate on books, art or something else that doesn’t involve electronics.

For more tips on preparing for high school, see our Back-to-School tips here.